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Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu met with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Friday amid Israeli concerns over the withdrawal of U.S. forces from northern Syria.

“Netanyahu and I had a productive meeting on efforts to counter the Iranian regime’s malign influence as well as regional developments and other issues related to Israel’s security,” tweeted Pompeo following the meeting at the prime minister’s residence in Jerusalem.

Alongside Netanyahu, in a statement to the press, Pompeo also said the U.S.-Israel alliance is “as strong as it has ever been” and that the two discussed “all the efforts we’ve made to push back against the threat not only to Israel but to the region and the world from the Islamic Republic of Iran.”

“We shared our ideas about how we can ensure Middle East stability together, and how we would further our efforts to jointly combat all the challenges that the world confronts here in the Middle East,” he added.

Regarding the deal reached in Ankara between the United States and Turkey on Thursday to temporarily halt the Turkish incursion into northern Syria, Netanyahu said, “We hope things will turn out for the best.”

However, the Syrian Kurds accused the Turks on Friday of violating the temporary truce.

“Despite the agreement to halt the fighting, air and artillery attacks continue to target the positions of fighters, civilian settlements and the hospital” in Ras al-Ain, tweeted Syrian Democratic Forces spokesperson Mustafa Bali. “Turkey is violating the ceasefire agreement by continuing to attack the town since last night.”

Additionally, Pompeo urged the United Nations to renew its arms embargo against Iran that expires next year in accordance with the 2015 Iran nuclear deal, which the United States withdrew from in May 2018, reimposing U.S. sanctions lifted under it along with enacting new financial penalties against the regime.

“Because of the flawed Iran deal, the UN arms embargo on Iran will expire in one year. Countries like Russia and China will be able to sell Iran sophisticated weapons. The Iranian regime will be free to sell weapons to anyone. This will trigger a new arms race in the Middle East,” he tweeted.

“If you’re worried about Iran’s behavior now, imagine what Iran will do with advanced missiles, drones, tanks, and jets. The Security Council must renew the arms embargo.”

After his meeting with Netanyahu, Pompeo met for 45 minutes with Rabbis Marvin Hier and Abraham Cooper of the Simon Wiesenthal Center to discuss the situation in northern Syria, anti-Semitism and other issues pertaining to the pro-Israel and Jewish community.

“We shared with Secretary Pompeo the fears of millions of Americans over the plight of the Kurdish minority in Syria,” said the two SWC leaders in a statement. “Secretary Pompeo responded in detail about U.S. efforts to pressure Turkish President Erdogan to stop his military incursion and to ensure that Kurdish civilians in the region will not be harmed.”

They said Pompeo assured them that “The United States has not abandoned the Middle East, we have over 60,000 military in the region.”

The SWC delegation thanked Pompeo for the U.S. maximum pressure campaign against Iran that has included U.S. sanctions and other measures.

Regarding anti-Semitism, Hier and Cooper said, “We will need continued robust leadership from the U.S, State Department in our struggle against anti-Semitism overseas, especially in Europe.”

The post Netanyahu meets with Pompeo amid Israeli concerns about Syria appeared first on JNS.org.

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